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Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby Fred North » Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:42 pm

We were hoping to hit Mt. Elbert on Friday but I am told it is covered in snow. We've got two newbies with us, can we get up either the Grays/Torreys combo or Mt. Bierstadt on Friday?

Thanks,
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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby newnative » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:12 pm

You can get up them, but they have a good bit of snow as well still and the storms we've been getting have been dumping some snow in the mountains. As a point of reference, check out this recent trip report - it's got some really good photos of current conditions:

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=6093&cpgm=tripmain

I will say that the snow's pretty manageable right now though, and the snow you'll find on Grays or Bierstadt is really pretty easy even for a newbie. There are a lot of folks on these trails, so there's a good boot track through the snow, and aside from being a little slippery in spots it doesn't add much challenge. Besides, if you get up there and decide it's too much, at least you got up and had some fun out there! It'll still be better than sitting at home. Also, check the weather link on this site, and get an early start to avoid the precip that'll surely move in. Have fun!
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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby lowland_hiker » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:05 pm

Ok, so that's great pics of the Rat climb, I'm wondering about the trail, is it that covered as well? What can someone suggest for G&T vs Evans&B for next Monday?
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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby utepasspro » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:11 pm

I'm saying to heck with the weather and heading to Bierstadt first thing tomorrow- I can post what the trip was like when I get back.
"There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country, a reflection of God's lover's quarrel with all the world.” - William Sloane Coffin

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby newnative » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:52 pm

lowland_hiker wrote:Ok, so that's great pics of the Rat climb, I'm wondering about the trail, is it that covered as well? What can someone suggest for G&T vs Evans&B for next Monday?


The very first picture in that trip report is of the east face of Gray's peak, which is the face that the standard trail switchbacks up, and why I referenced that trip report specifically. The trail is pretty dry and clear up to the basin just below the peak faces, then the trail becomes what you see in that first pic - snow covered but well worn and slippery/icy in spots, especially in the morning before the sun hits it. If you look closely at that picture you'll see the trail itself as it switchbacks up to the summit.
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the last remaining wilderness be destroyed.

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby Griswolds » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:36 pm

Here's a look at the Bierstadt conditions on Sunday, June 7th. There were a lot of first timers there. It was cold enough - we never post holed.

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Just about to summit at 8:30
IMG_4682 sm.jpg (242.69 KiB) Viewed 1109 times


IMG_4675 sm.jpg
At about 13K
IMG_4675 sm.jpg (262.65 KiB) Viewed 1119 times

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby utepasspro » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:56 am

Just got back from Bierstadt...all those tracks that you see in the above pics are now gone. It was slippery in spots and no real post-holing, but it was snowing almost the whole time. You can expect several new inches on Bierstadt up near the top from the weather today.
"There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country, a reflection of God's lover's quarrel with all the world.” - William Sloane Coffin

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby MIT » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:03 pm

Thanks for the conditions update. My wife and I are heading up to Bierstadt tomorrow.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby lowland_hiker » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:25 pm

What about roads to TH? Do I need 4WD or can I do it in a front wheeler? Thanks
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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby MountainHiker » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:11 pm

Bierstadt road is much easier for a 2WD. Grays road has a couple nasty spots that are better driven by a 4WD.
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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby MIT » Fri Jun 12, 2009 7:29 pm

Just got back from Bierstadt. The trail is easy to follow and mostly snow free (except for patches) until about 12,700. After that it is snow covered the whole way. There are good tracks in the snow all the way to the summit, but the wind was really howling up there later this morning so these tracks may have gotten a bit covered. The snow was crusty (in the AM) and not to deep, so snowshoes aren't needed at all. Note that Guanella Pass coming from Georgetown was closed until 6:00AM and then closed again sometime later until 3:00PM. I think this is the regular schedule, but I would call to check this out (try Georgetown visitors center). Better yet, head in on the other side of the pass from Grant and save the trouble. The Guanella Pass road is rougher coming from Georgetown than from the Grant side (mostly big water filled potholes), but the car in front of us was a small Cobalt that had no problems from Georgetown. I ended up ripping a coolant hose off of a Subaru Forester the last trip up to Grays so I would skip that without a proper 4WD vehicle. That said, many passenger cars do make it up to Grays... just depends how nice you want to be to your vehicle.
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Grays/Torreys or Bierstadt for newbies

Postby Stretch » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:25 pm

do I read that right, that the road is closed all night until 6 am ? that would make a pre-dawn start a problem coming from Georgetown. how far up is the top end of the closure ? alas, I have never driven the other side down to grant, is the camping on that side as plentiful as the Georgetown side ?

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